Hawaiian Electric $16,000 helping Lyon Arboretum save endangered plants

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Margot Schrire, (808) 956-6774
Director of Communications, University of Hawaii Foundation
Posted: Feb 17, 2010

"Nearly half of all known native Hawaiian plants are threatened or endangered. Because of the lack of remaining habitat or understanding of how they reproduce, many of these plants' existence is at stake. Thanks to donors to our preservation program, we can save plants, one species at a time."
– Dr. Christopher Dunn, director of the Lyon Arboretum
HONOLULU – The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa's Harold L. Lyon Arboretum was recently awarded $16,000 by Hawaiian Electric Company to strengthen the arboretum’s unique program for conservation of rare native Hawaiian plants. “We are thrilled to have the support of HECO in this important endeavor. It is very gratifying that this major corporation in our state is committed to conservation of our state’s resources,” said Dr. Dunn.
The funds will be used to expand the existing capacity for statewide preservation of Hawaiian plants and to provide for rare plant restoration and conservation on the island of O‘ahu.
"These programs are vital to the perpetuation of the native and endangered plants and ecosystems of our islands. Hawaiian Electric is very pleased to partner with Lyon Arboretum and be part of this important work," said Dick Rosenblum, Hawaiian Electric Company president and CEO.
"Lyon Arboretum and many other UH Mānoa programs are devoted to preserving and propagating our precious Hawaiian legacy, and we're honored to have the support of the Hawaiian Electric Company for our efforts," said Virginia Hinshaw, UH Mānoa chancellor.
Donna Vuchinich, president and CEO of the University of Hawai‘i Foundation added, "We are grateful for HECO's ongoing and generous support of UH programs committed to energy, conservation and island sustainability. Donors like HECO who partner with the university are helping bring success to critical initiatives like workforce development, and help secure a better quality of life for all island residents."
The rare plant laboratory at Lyon Arboretum is currently conserving about 160 rare Hawaiian plants as well as rare cultivars of taro and banana.  Nellie Sugii, manager of the rare plant program added, “These funds will greatly improve the effectiveness and efficiency of rare plant recovery and will help research to ensure that additional plants are saved.”
The Harold L. Lyon Arboretum is a unit of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. It is a 193-acre tropical rainforest located in the head of the Mānoa Valley and is open to the public. Its mission is to increase the appreciation of the unique flora of Hawai‘i and the tropics, by conserving, curating, and studying plants and their habitats; providing inclusive educational opportunities; encouraging use by the broader community; and supporting the educational, scientific, and service activities of the University of Hawai‘i. www.hawaii.edu/lyonarboretum/
The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa serves approximately 20,000 students pursuing more than 225 different degrees. Coming from every Hawaiian island, every state in the nation, and more than 100 countries, UH Mānoa students matriculate in an enriching environment for the global exchange of ideas. For more information, visit http://manoa.hawaii.edu.
The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. Our mission is to unite our donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i's aspirations to benefit the people of Hawai‘i and beyond. We do this by raising private philanthropic support, managing private investments and nurturing donor and alumni relationships. www.uhf.hawaii.edu.